'Guardian': London father-in-law emailed Assad advice

By REUTERS
March 16, 2012 02:33

 
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LONDON - Syrian President Bashar Assad's father-in-law, a London doctor who had been seen as a modernizing influence on him, has been offering advice to the Syrian leader on how to depict his bloody crackdown on a popular uprising to the world, Britain's Guardian newspaper said on Friday, quoting intercepted emails.

Fawaz Akhras, the father of Assad's British-born wife Asma, sent his son-in-law suggestions on how to counter criticisms of his government in private emails to the Syrian president, according to the London daily.

The emails show the 66-year-old cardiologist offering moral support and public relations guidance to Assad, who has branded his opponents as "terrorists" and "armed gangs" steered by a foreign conspiracy to overthrow him.

They were part of a cache of 3,000 emails sent or received by the presidential couple between June last year and early February, obtained from an unnamed Syrian opposition member and which the Guardian says it believes are genuine.

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